4.9/5
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Based on 1280 Verified Reviews.

Highlights

  • Experience Namibia and Botswana’s classic destinations on one trip
  • Start and finish in Africa’s ‘Adventure Capital’, Victoria Falls
  • Full-day in the Falls – enough time for River Rafting or Devil’s Pool (in season)
  • En suite lodge and tented camp accommodation throughout
  • Island camping in Okavango Delta
  • Game viewing in Etosha, Caprivi, Chobe and Kalahari
  • Guided bush walks, game drives and Chobe River cruise
  • Full day in action-packed Swakopmund plus an evening in friendly Windhoek

Overview

This tour forms part of our Scheduled & Overland tour collection.

Combine safari giants Botswana and Namibia with the thundering spectacle of Victoria Falls, and you have one of our most comprehensive overland safaris. Beginning and ending with bucket-lister Victoria Falls, the safari moves quickly into big game country, taking in the wild Caprivi Strip and game-rich Etosha National Park before arriving on the starkly beautiful Namibian coast where you’ll see tens of thousands of seals. The landscape changes as you head inland and explore the Namib and Kalahari deserts, equally fascinating at both ends of the scale: you’ll climb the towering sand dunes of Sossusvlei as well as learn how to track animals and make fire with San Bushmen.

From desert to delta, you then have an opportunity to discover the Okavango Delta, the world’s largest inland delta and home to a dazzling diversity of wildlife. Setting off in your mokoro (traditional canoe) you can look forward to experiencing the Delta the original way: camping on a remote island and exploring on foot with local guides. It’s a great chance to see wildlife, and the big game experience increases in intensity as you loop back to Victoria Falls. Botswana’s famous Chobe River is on the itinerary, one of the best places in Africa for a dry season (May to October) safari, but so are the Makgadikgadi Pans: a rarely-visited wilderness of Kalahari grassland and home to a dramatic zebra and migration in the rainy summer months (about November to February).

Running throughout the year, this safari is led by two professional guides and makes use of safari lodge accommodations throughout (including tented lodges) plus two nights of tented camp accommodation in the Okavango Delta. You have a private en suite toilet on every night of the tour. It’s a limited participation tour – you’ll help pack the truck in the morning and take turns washing up – all part of the adventure! There’s no upper age limit (over 65s will need a medical certificate stating their fitness for such a tour) and children between 12 and 17 are welcomed with an accompanying adult.

Summary

  • Tour Duration: 21 Days

Accommodations Visited

Camping

20 Nights
Day to day

Itinerary

Detailed breakdown

Days 1-3: ‘The Smoke that Thunders’ – Victoria Falls | 20 Nights

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The tour begins after lunch on the first day when you meet your guide and fellow travellers at your hotel in Livingstone on the Zambian side of the waterfall. There’s a complimentary trip to see Victoria Falls together – a nice way to start the tour – and time to decide what to do the following day. Victoria Falls is of course famous as the region’s ‘Adventure Centre’, home to some of the world’s best white-water rafting and highest bungee jumping, canoe adventures and scenic flights. For others, it is perhaps bird watching, fishing or a sunset Zambezi River cruise that may hold more appeal.

Days 3-5: The Wild Caprivi

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Stretching like a finger between Botswana and Angola, the Caprivi Strip is Namibia’s version of the Okavango Delta: wild wetlands fringed by forest and full of wildlife. Your destination is a camp on the Kwando River and you have the chance to explore by river boat as well as by vehicle in the Mahango Game Reserve. It’s a good destination for several of the classic heavyweights – elephant, buffalo and hippo – and a stunning destination for bird watching. A cage in the river means you can cool off safely in summer months, and free Wi-Fi at camp means you can catch up with news from home.

Days 5-6: A Riverside Lodge

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It’s another river today as you continue driving west – this time the Kavango River, on its way to becoming the Okavango in Botswana. It’s a traditional landscape of grass-hut villages and cattle on the side of the road and a good place to stop and buy local carvings and souvenirs. Your overnight stop is Nkwazi Lodge, just outside the town of Rundu and the perfect place to watch an African sunset with a cold drink in hand.

Days 6-9: The Mighty Etosha

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It’s a long drive today but the reward is Namibia’s flagship conservation area: Etosha National Park. You check in at a private guest farm on the border of the park, well positioned for the next two days as you head into the park on full-day safaris. Famous during the dry season (May to October) when animals concentrate in great numbers at the few remaining waterholes, Etosha is equally good in the greener and wetter summer months of November to March. It’s a reserve renowned for its up-close elephant sightings and thick clusters of zebra and antelope at waterholes as well as big cats – especially lions and cheetahs. It’s also one of the few remaining strongholds for black rhino and home to abundant birdlife.

Days 9-10: Burnt Mountain, Rock Forests

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Turning south for the first time, the road takes you to a harsher, less vegetated landscape of wind-blasted mountains and baked gravel plains. This is Damaraland, hauntingly beautiful and a surprising home to desert-adapted elephant – sometimes seen in the dry riverbed overlooked by your lodge for the night. You’ll visit a petrified forest and walk with a local guide to view Khoisan rock art, including the enigmatic White Lady of Brandberg (‘burnt mountain’).

Days 10-12: Atlantic Adventures – Swakopmund

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The landscape flattens out as you near the Atlantic coast and the friendly town of Swakopmund. You’ll stop at the famous Cape fur seal colony before checking in a centrally located hotel within easy reach of beaches, shops and restaurants. The next day is yours to do as much or as little as you’d like. It’s a town that proudly reflects its German ancestry – you’ll notice German influences in architecture, food and culture – and Swakopmund now rivals Victoria Falls as an adventure capital, offering sky-diving, hot-air ballooning, desert quad-biking and ocean canoe safaris among many other activities.

Days 12-14: The Dunes of Sossusvlei

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There are plenty of big sand dunes around Swakopmund but nothing compares to those at Sossusvlei. Set deep in the ancient Namib Desert, these dunes loom over 300 metres (1 000 feet) high and change colour as the sun rises and sets – red, purple, pink and orange. A walk with your guide to see the dunes face to face is on the itinerary and your lodge is positioned to catch sunset over them. You’ll explore the twisted ravines of Sesriem too, and keep a lookout for desert wildlife – the rapier-horned gemsbok is the most obvious creature in the desert landscape but look closer and you’ll see shiny beetles, black-backed jackals and ostriches. The desert skies are especially clear and the amazing star gazing is part of the Namib experience.

Day 14-15: A Capital Stay

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A welcome taste of civilisation awaits you at Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. Your accommodation is set in a quiet suburb close to shops and restaurants and has the advantage of a swimming pool and Wi-Fi. It’s a great opportunity to relax in the sun, catch up with sleep and send news and photos home. You’ll share an evening meal together at a popular restaurant and experience the famed friendliness of Windhoek.

Days 15-16: The Red Kalahari

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The tour now takes a turn east and crosses the border into Botswana. Your destination is a lodge lying deep in the Kalahari Desert, famous for its red sands and etched thorn trees but also home to a surprising wealth of wildlife. There’s time after lunch for a walk with a San Bushman guide and translator, your chance to experience life on foot in big game country. You’ll learn how the San hunt and forage as well as make fire and make everyday objects, a fascinating contrast to the natural environments on far on the tour.

Days 16-19: Into the Okavango

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Stands of tall grass and reeds start appearing as the road nears Maun: the waters of the Okavango Delta are close. Maun is the jumping off point for the delta and you’ll break your journey with a night at a riverside lodge before transferring to a canoe and heading off into the deep delta. Your destination is a remote island and a tented camp from which you explore on foot and by canoe with your guides. The Okavango Delta is one of the world’s most prolific wildlife destinations and is a landscape of both big creatures – hippo, elephant and buffalo – as well as small ones – painted reed frogs, kingfishers and vervet monkeys, and your camp lies at the heart of it all.

Days 19-20: A Makgadikgadi Sunset

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A canoe trip back to Maun reunites you with your vehicle and you hit the road, driving east across the pancake-flat Kalahari and the Makgadikgadi Pans, once the bottom of an ancient super-lake. Your destination for the night is Nata Lodge, set at the edge of one of the pans and close to a nature reserve where you enjoy a late afternoon drive and a sunset. The pans are usually dry and support only the hardiest of desert creatures but summer rains fill them up and attract great flocks of flamingos and wading birds – a unique and memorable sight.

Days 20-21: Chobe – Land of Giants

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Desert gives way to forest as you drive north to the Chobe River. Enormous squat baobab trees appear as you get closer to the river, and then there it is, a meandering twist of water and the greatest sanctuary for elephants on the continent. Concentrations of elephant and other big animals are highest during Botswana’s long dry season but the river supports abundant wildlife all through the year. You check in at a friendly riverside lodge and can look forward to an afternoon boat cruise on the river, the perfect way to see animals close up plus the normally elusive river life – hippos, crocodiles and giant monitor lizards. Fish-eagles line the river banks and the Chobe River sunsets are generally spectacular.

Day 21: Full Circle – the Journey Ends

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After breakfast you cross the border into Zambia via the Kazungula ferry and onwards by road to Livingstone International Airport where the tour ends at around midday.

Inclusions tick icon

Inclusions

  • All meals as per the itinerary
  • Entrance fees & game drives in Mahango Game Reserve
  • Entrance fees to Etosha National Park, 2 x full day game drive in Etosha NP
  • Entrance fees to Makgadikgadi Pans
  • Entrance fees to Sesriem Canyon and Naukluft National Park
  • Entrance to Cape Cross seal colony
  • Entrance to Okavango Delta, morning and afternoon game walks with local guides
  • Entrance to petrified forest and San Rock Art
  • Entrance to see the Victoria Falls
  • Nature walk with local San bushman and translator
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Exclusions

  • International flights
  • Airport taxes
  • All meals and drinks not specified
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

Rates

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Dates Price
2019-01-01 — 2019-12-31 $2,795
Our rates are per person sharing unless we note differently. Please treat all pricing as a guide only:
  • All rates are subject to availability and may change without notice.
  • Single supplements may apply.
  • Request a quote or speak to one of our African Safari Experts for the best, most current rates available.